Showsight Presents The Papillon

the tail arching up over the back and then the tip making contact with the body to make a teacup handle. Th e tail should not wave in the air ala Siberian Husky. Th at’s a tail too loose and it destroys the outline. Neither should the tail be smack flat on the back, kinked or immobile. Th e teacup tail balances the large ears and helps create the distinctive Papillon outline. Coat is impor- tant. Here some judges have a hard time. Th e coat is single (no undercoat), silky, straight and ideally abundant. Th is is a hard grocery list of traits. Some of the most abun- dant coats may be double. Double is wrong. Anything that is not silky is wrong. Getting silky and abundant is a trick. Recently an exhibitor with a really high-class dog had a judge tell her that her dog had too much coat. He picked a dog with sparse coat and minimal fringe. Th e dog he missed had good coat and lovely fringe. Th e most com- mon error is that judges pick the biggest coat as opposed the silkiest coat. I like to say a silky coat feels expensive. More fancy points include feet. Papil- lons have hare feet. Th is is a dainty, elon- gated foot to fit a dainty dog. Probably round feet are required of the majority of breeds. Even full sized spaniels. But we want a hare foot with center toes elon- gated and fringe tapered to exaggerate the length of the foot. Not wanted: fat, round feet with all the fringe cut o ff . TEMPERAMENT Temperament cannot be overlooked. No excuses, please. Papillons are ideally one of the most pleasant breeds to live with. Why else would they have been so popular with royalty and the wealthy merchant class for so many hundreds of years? Th ey are smart, friendly, gay, lively, athletic and gregarious. Th ey have high self-esteem. Th ey are charming! Th ey get along with other Papillons. We say they are like potato chips! One is nice, several are better. Th ey prefer Papillons to oth- er breeds. Th ey are large dogs in a small package. Why then, would you ever tol- erate a dog that slinks around the ring, is shy, snaps or tries to be invisible? It is true that some Papillons do not like their mouths opened. You, the judge, need to learn how to do it quickly and gently. A beginner puppy may need a little encour- agement but should not be shy. Do not tolerate bad temperament. SILHOUETTE If you are going to judge this breed, understand the breed outline. Th is breed

is slightly longer than tall. It is elegant. It is not short legged. Th e ears are large and the tail is mobile, set high with a teacup handle carriage. Th e coat never obscures this outline. Th e dog’s outline and ele- gance require good structure—su ffi cient neck, well laid shoulders, level topline, sound rear. Problems: we have so many bad toplines one judge asked me if Papil- lons should be high in the rear! No, No! Level topline! STRUCTURE Papillons should be sound. Like some other toy dogs, patella luxation is a minor problem. No one wants this. You don’t pick a luxated dog for breeding stock. Don’t rotate stifles on the table, please! But if you feel of the dog and hear that nasty little “click” guess what! Th e other problem that can occur is the open font. You may find this in Chihuahuas and Pomeranians. It is okay in Chihuahuas. It is not okay in Papillons. As a judge, you are not expected to go over the skull with scientific precision. Just be aware and if you just happen to find a big hole, this is not good breeding stock! SIZE Some words about size: there is a HUGE range in Papillons. Th e range is 8-11 inches

DQ at 12 inches. Th at’s 4 big inches in a toy breed! As a breeder, totally personal opinion outside the standard, I prefer not to breed any bitch under 9 inches. People who don’t come from toys are used to big males, smaller bitches. Toy breeders like bitches big enough to breed. Some tiny (under 9 inches), dainty bitches are gor- geous, precious and make superlative pets for the discriminating. Some are capable of being bred. Th ey deserve their champi- onships. Judge by the standard, judge the dog on quality not size. But don’t overlook the beautiful bigger bitch just because she is bigger or the small, dainty elegant male who goes so well with the good breedable bitch. Basically, judge to quality, not to size. MARKINGS Th ey are the frosting on the cake. Sym- metrical face markings are preferred, but get the best head, ears, outline, tempera- ment, body, legs etc. Th at’s more impor- tant. I have no problems with a solid head or a less than symmetrical blaze. Read the standard. It isn’t a fault. Ticking occurs. It goes with being a spaniel. Some people don’t like it. It isn’t a fault. Don’t treat it like a fault. Finally, pick the best whole dog. Th e situation needs careful consideration by Papillon judges to help the breed and breeders in the right direction.

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2015 • 175

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